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Mozambique should increase agricultural efficiency: official

09-21-2011 11:21 BJT

MAPUTO, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Mozambique should invest more to increase the country's agricultural efficiency to make it more competitive, said an agricultural official on Tuesday.

National Director of Agricultural Extension Momed Vala told Mozambique News Agency(AIM) on Tuesday that, on average, South African farmers produce six to seven tons of hybrid maize per hectare, but the figure does not exceed four tons per hectare in Mozambique.

"All the South African production is on the basis of hybrid varieties," he said. "In Mozambique, when hybrids are used, output is four tons a hectare, but with the normal varieties we only produce 1.8 tons per hectare."

"What we must do now is to increase step by step our efficiency in production. Only then can we become more competitive," Vala said, adding that 97 to 98 percent of agricultural producers in Mozambique depend on rainwater instead of reliable irrigation systems.

Vala said that it is because rehabilitating irrigation system remains quite expensive in Mozambique, with costs between 3,000 and 7,000 U.S. dollars per hectare. However, that only costs some 600 to 700 U.S. dollars a hectare in Vietnam or India.

The director said the commercial dynamic in South African agriculture sector has motivated local farmers to look continually for better seeds, fertilizers and other inputs, particularly in his country.

He also said the recent investment in agricultural research has led to the release of 64 improved varieties of many crops, including rice, maize and sweet potato.

Speaking of the 2011-2012 agricultural campaign to begin this October, Vala said he expected a 9.1-percent growth in production, especially in the food crops.

Growth rate of the 2010-2011 campaign was 6.7 percent, which Vala attributed to genuine growth in productivity, not merely to an increase in the area under cultivation.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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